Come on. Mary Landrieu is absolutely, 100 percent correct

It’s amusing to watch conservatives profess themselves horrified by Sen. Mary Landrieu’s statement that race still plays a major role in Southern politics, and that women still have a harder time than men.

ap222231307199“I’ll be very, very honest with you,” she told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.” She also noted that Louisiana has “not always been a good place for women to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place.”

The response has been harsh. The chairman of the Louisiana GOP claimed the remarks were “insulting to me and to every other Louisianian.” Gov. Bobby Jindal has demanded an apology, calling the remarks “offensive and ridiculous.” “Here in Louisiana and across the South, we don’t think in terms of black and white,” Jindal said. “The only colors that meet here are red, white, and blue.”

That may be the single most foolish thing that any politician has uttered in 2014.

In Louisiana, President Obama’s job approval rating among white voters is 17 percent. There are a lot of reasons for that low approval rating; many have absolutely nothing to do with race. But to claim that race plays no role, that a black politician has no harder time in the South than a white politician, is absurd.

And if what Jindal claims is true, how does he explain away this?

As the link above illustrates, there are 91 Republicans in the GOP-controlled Louisiana Legislature. Of those 91 members of the party that dominates state politics, six are women.

Six. Of 91. And Landrieu is supposed to apologize for noticing that?

And of those 91 Republican members of the Louisiana Legislature, one is black. One. But in Louisiana, “we don’t think in terms of white and black”?

In a state that is 32 percent black and 51 percent female, there is no way on God’s green earth to interpret those numbers other than as confirmation of Landrieu’s statement, and as a repudiation of Jindal’s claim that race no longer plays a role in Louisiana politics, society and commerce. As Zell Miller liked to say, “that turtle didn’t get up on that fencepost all by itself.”

Landrieu’s statement has drawn an angry response precisely because it is so accurate, and because it directly challenges a convenient notion of some that race and bigotry are things of the past. That notion is so cherished and so sancrosanct — despite its obvious absurdity — that any attempt to challenge it publicly must be shouted down. It’s the modern equivalent of the claim back in the Fifties that race relations in the South were just fine, and that any turmoil was the work of “outside agitators.”

People wanted to believe, needed to believe, in that illusion, and they responded angrily to anyone who dared to question it. Like any system that relies on illusion to sustain itself, it was destined to collapse under its own dishonesty.

Reader Comments 0

1177 comments
BeeJay
BeeJay

Landrieu's statement is an indictment against the citizens who voted HER - a Southern woman - into her current offfice. Sounds like she's already offering an excuse for when she loses.

As for white Southerners being opposed to the prez just because he's, as you say, "black," (he's actually only half black), I guess you'll go to your grave singing that tune and you'll still be wrong.  But I do think it makes you feel better to have an excuse so you won't have to face the very real problems with him and his agenda.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

The very reference to "half-black" is a giveaway, BJ. He's not wrong. Neither is the Senator from La., one of two women out of 26 southern Senators.

BeeJay
BeeJay

@hamiltonAZ Obama IS half black. Under other circumstances, the black people who support him without question would call him an "oreo."

lvg
lvg

So GOP is going to take over the Senate because of racial disparity and bigotry in Ferguson , Missouri and  racial disparity in Louisiana? C'mon Jay- the Dems did it to themselves by running against Obama , hiding from the campaign trail and using racial politics. Tell me why Roy Barnes and Kaseem Reed have been in hiding?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

well shoot, nobody called "Miss me yet?" sheetz.

alexander2
alexander2

@Peaches:..."and if those buses breakdown, HE will smote you by causing a deep freeze in the south and will rot you PEACH crop..."  sheesh......of THAT I am absolutely NOT sure of.........

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I know that everyone's probably sick of Bruno and me carrying on about this, but I do want to address one thing:


I wouldn't complain of the frequency you put your poll up if you were more honest in its interpretation. 


I really don't recall making any grandiose claims about what that 538 piece on racial attitudes meant. I'd really prefer for people to look at the various polls cited therein and learn a thing or two for themselves. 

Midvale
Midvale

Your dad was more raciest than my dad  -  or is it the other way around

Peachs
Peachs

Somewhere in grass roots Georgia the buses are being filed with gas to take a load of voters to the polls. This is the undercurrent of America that doesn’t show on the polls the 3% surprise that will be even larger this year of minority voters. It is happening I can hear it out there, like Germany when the wall fell, like Moses setting his people free, you have fed off our hospitality long enough with your corruption and ill moral and church destroying greed. Tomorrow is a day of reckoning.

LordHelpUs
LordHelpUs

@moonbat_betty 'All I need are tasty waves and a cool buzz.  hyuh, hyuh, hyuh...'

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@moonbat_betty


Deep Thought:


I wonder if as forthrightly pro-choice a movie as FTaRH could ever get big-money backing, today.

LeninTime
LeninTime

I must say, it is interesting for someone who claims to be concerned about racial injustice, that Jay Bookman has not so much as mentioned the Detroit bankruptcy and its looting by the banks, over the entire two year period that it has been going on.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@LeninTime Out of curiosity, since you like to point the finger of racial injustice so often, what do you believe gives you such a high moral platform to stand upon??

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Bruno2 @LeninTime


I don't accept the premise that I have to demonstrate some "high moral platform" in order to speak on the issue of racial injustice. 

coj
coj

Conservative extremists, the republican base today, are just as racist as they always have been. It's just not as overt and unabashed as it was. There is no unified state sanctioned mob violence like lynching blacks anymore, just cops and white civilians executing unarmed black citizens in "self-defense."

JamVet
JamVet

Just days after saying that the Republican brand "sucks," Rand Paul went on three Sunday talk shows to double down on his criticism of the GOP. The things the (Republican) senator from Kentucky criticized his party for: "dumb" voter ID laws, a "broken" party brand, and a "wall" between it and African-Americans. These are messages, of course, that a party-line member of the GOP probably would not have transmitted just days before contentious midterm elections—elections through which Republicans could narrowly take the Senate.

On NBC's Meet the Press, Paul, who is not up for re-election this cycle, said the Republicans' fixation on voter ID laws is "dumb" because it alienates the very people the GOP has said it needs to attract: youth, minorities, and poor Americans.

"It doesn't mean that I think it's unreasonable," Paul said of the laws that Republicans claim are necessary to prevent voter fraud. "I just think it's a dumb idea for Republicans to emphasize this and say, 'This is how we are going to win the elections.'"

Those comments echo ones he made in May. "Everybody's gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing," Paul warned in an interview with The New York Times. "I think it's wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it's offending people."

JamVet
JamVet

@KingHusseinObama @JamVet 

As your estimations of your intellect are so vast, you tell me.


Or better yet, ask Rand Paul.

But what would it matter, your mind is closed...

Bruno2
Bruno2

Boy, do I love the smell of Lib self-righteousness in the morning......


Over the weekend, I stated to Jay that every poll I've seen indicates that racial attitudes are fairly similar by party, yet the Lefties continue to use it as a wedge issue.  He responded by putting up these four "studies", claiming that "And again, none of that is meant to imply that most or a majority of Republicans are racists. They are not. But it is an element within the party."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/04/14/data-suggest-republicans-have-a-race-problem/

http://rt.com/usa/majority-americans-racist-poll-378/

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/race-and-2008-election-revisited/

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-white-republicans-more-racist-than-white-democrats/

Somehow, in Jay's mind, these articles are smoking-gun proof of his prior claim that "most racists are conservative", yet when I look at the actual results reported, every one of them shows that negative racial attitudes are fairly similar by party, and have fallen dramatically over time for both parties.  For example, in the article entitled "Data suggests Republicans Have a Race Problem", they base their conclusions upon some bogus study which claims that 55% of Dems and 64% of Repubs express "anti-black sentiments" along with a survey of attitudes toward inter-racial dating which showed slightly higher disapproval by Repubs over time.  The second article references the same "anti-black sentiment" poll.  In the third article, the author plays up the fact that some folks in Arkansas and Tennessee said they voted for McCain due to race, while sweeping under the rug results which indicated that others voted for Obama because of race.  Kind of a wash again. In the fourth article, the one put up by stands ad nauseum, it again shows that negative racial attitudes are within 5% by party on issue after issue, and have fallen dramatically over time for both races.


In none of these surveys do I see any correction for age.  Since Republican voters tend to be a little older, that would most likely account for the differences found in each of these surveys.


So, keep believing that "most racists are conservative" if you like, but the facts don't bear out your claims.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Bruno2 Over the weekend, I stated to Jay that every poll I've seen indicates that racial attitudes are fairly similar by party,


Is that why the GOP is almost all white...Just a coincidence I guess ?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2


some bogus study 


proof, please, of this bogousity you speak of.


In the fourth article, the one put up by stands ad nauseum


I think I posted it twice, and I apologized for the repeat the second time.

Peachs
Peachs

@Bruno2 

What you say is physically impossible, the Democrats have most of the black voters, unless they are Clarence Thomas blacks they probably have a more sophisticated view of race than the redneck filled right.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@stands_for_decibels I wouldn't complain of the frequency you put your poll up if you were more honest in its interpretation.


Point blank, if I told you Group A showed a certain characteristic 55% of the time, while Group B showed the same trait 64% of the time, do you think that gives Group A bragging rights??

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2 @stands_for_decibels


ok, I read it, and the conclusion was:


the survey findings above indicate that Republicans have more work to do to address such prejudice within their ranks. 


what is "bogus" about that? They identified an apparently widening gap on attitudes about specific racial issues. You may not think that the trendlines mean much, but they are there.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@stands_for_decibels @Bruno2 You simply repeated the conclusion, without digging into how they found it.  Go back and read the part about how "Racial bias is incredibly difficult to quantify...... So pollsters often try to measure prejudice indirectly."

It's called inventing your own standard.....

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2


keep believing that "most racists are conservative"


hmm. While you're straying a bit beyond what anyone's actually asserted, I think you're also guilty of assuming that someone who self-IDs as Democrat, can't also consider themselves to be conservative.

KingHusseinObama
KingHusseinObama

@Bruno2 

Interesting, Black GOP Representatives were voted in, in white conservative districts. While, Black Represenitives, were voted in, in only black districts. 

How come the white districts on the Left only vote in Whities?!? 


hmmm....


....they must be Uncle Tom's I guess?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2 @stands_for_decibels


Well, do you have any other metrics to base your disagreement upon? Any polling of people breaking out racial attitudes among differing ideologies and/or party affiliations, that you'd care to cite?

You seem to be a little miffed that the WaPo and 538 (and others) even bother to try.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@stands_for_decibels I'm not bothered they try, I'm bothered when Group A, which shows a trait 55% of the time, gets all self-righteous toward Group B which shows the trait 64% of the time.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2 @stands_for_decibels


that's a direct quote from Jay


I'll take your word for it. And I'll say once more, that I really doubt that a majority of people holding clearly identified racist views on the specific issues that've been polled, would self-ID as anything but "conservative."


Obviously you'll have some self-identifying liberals in there, but not a majority, I don't think.

HDB0329
HDB0329

@stands_for_decibels "keep believing that "most racists are conservative"....interesting in that HISTORY has shown that to be true!! Note all of the resistance to racial equality has been generated by conservatives......

Peachs
Peachs

How does Deal get a pass, how does the Republican Party make this an Obama issue, might as well be Roy Rogers but they get away with it. It is a matter of time; the more we elect Republicans to state office the more the rest of the country leaves us behind, short and simple. You can pay for it now or you can pay more later the problem is not fixed and the Republican Party has not moved one fraction to correct it and Georgia is like Cuba boycotted by the rest of the world as non players driving antique cars and horse and buggy.

alexander2
alexander2

"100% correct, more stats form Jay.....Context, jay,nuance, Jay,...*election*, Jay, don't be so foolish...

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

This poll is from a quite a few years ago but I doubt it's changed much since then. and I think it actually explains a lot--consider, for a moment, that dumb "47%" meme Mitt Romney tried to appropriate in 2012.


http://www.gallup.com/poll/4435/Public-Overestimates-US-Black-Hispanic-Populations.aspx


On average, Americans say that 33% of the U.S. population is black. In fact, a majority of Americans (56%) estimate that the percentage of blacks in this country stands at 30% or higher. As many as 17% of Americans say the percentage of blacks is 50% or greater. Only 7% accurately state that the percentage of blacks falls between 10% and 14% of the entire population. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

...just to make the obvious observation here--one reason for white fear is that white folks, apparently, believe that other racial groups comprise a larger percentage of the population than is true.


I think that's how the dumb "47%" business got so much play--I think those who buy into it, imagine that something like a third of the country is African-American, which would account for more than half of that hated 47% of "moochers", one imagines.


(never mind that the percentage of non-Federal-income-tax-owers is no longer even accurate, even by its own narrow formulation...)

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Claver When Obama leaves office the Tea Party will be gone pretty quick. 

Claver
Claver

@HeadleyLamar @Claver There were conspiracy nuts and Timothy McVeigh-types during Clinton's terms, but they were not as intense.  I think the differential is the racial part.